Contradicting campaign promises of transparency, Obama’s doing press-free fundraisers:
President Obama courts wealthy donors
Four times in the last week, President Barack Obama has quietly departed from his official White House schedule and slipped into private, exclusive Democratic Party fundraisers around town, glad-handing well-heeled donors away from the eyes of the press – and contradicting his pledge to run the most transparent administration in history.
According to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, Obama had nothing “formal” to say at these small Democratic National Committee fundraisers – some of which cost as much as $30,400 a ticket – so there was no need for reporters to observe. Gibbs said in his July 29 briefing that the practice since the presidential campaign has been that if the president delivers a speech or makes formal remarks, an event would be “a full open event or open to a pool.”
“And if it’s not open, it’s because the president is not making remarks,” Gibbs said.
What? Obama’s taken the Victorian children approach of being seen but not heard? He just shows up and stands there silently?
Of course not:
Yet Obama did talk to donors at these events, just not necessarily behind a lectern or with a microphone.
A Democrat familiar with the fundraisers described the routine: First, the President would briefly address the group of a few dozen donors to express his gratitude, in cursory, impromptu remarks. Then, he would spend roughly an hour, speaking one-on-one with supporters or addressing groups of up to five of them at a time.
At events where the donors are seated at tables, Obama might sit down at each table to chat, with someone more familiar with the donors to guide him and make introductions.
And now for the hair-splitting,
“It’s more than just shaking hands and taking a picture,” said the Democrat, who is not authorized to publicly talk about the events on the record. “It’s fair to say that he’s having a conversation, but he’s not delivering remarks.”
Just as Bill wasn’t “having sex with that woman,” Obama is “not delivering remarks” to people who are spending $30,000 apiece to meet him. And, can we find out who these people he’s “not delivering remarks” to are?
But Obama asserts that “this has been the most transparent government, the most transparent administration, we have seen in a very very long time, perhaps the modern era”:
The modern era?
Of course! “This is the first administration since the founding of the country where all of you can find out who visited the White House. First time in history!”
Here’s what is going on,
Elections have consequences. Remember that in November.